That is the oath of office for Congresscritters.
Once upon a time, it was nice and simple, like this: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States." That was the original. You can see that an attempt has been made to enhance its enforceability—a couple of times, actually. The one we have today was put into play in 1884.
The Oath of Office of every other sworn public official in the United States is similar, particularly in holding the official to the U.S. Constitution. This includes state and local officials as well as federal ones. It varies considerably in wording, but it always first swears them to the Constitution, then to the laws and then sometimes to other officials (as in the case with the military Oath of Office). But it’s always the Constitution first—because, folks, it’s the law of the land, above all other laws under civil authority (i.e., not getting into natural and eternal law).
The Federal Government was created using the Constitution. The Federal Government is therefore not above those who thus created it and delegated authority to it. Notice that: the Federal Government has its authority ON LOAN from you and me and our states. It even exists at our pleasure; the states and the people could abolish it if we decided that was a good goal and undertook it effectively. If your boss creates a position and delegates authority to you, you do not become his boss and he does not lose the authority to run things in the area in which he’s delegated the authority to you; and he can remove the authority—and fire you, too. The states and the people built the Constitution, and the Federal Government is not above them. Not legally or morally, anyway. By firepower, it definitely is. The Framers even tried to protect against this latter: that is known as the Second Amendment.
The states are barred by the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, from certain things; that was a concession the states made to reassure the People about the validity of a federal (as opposed to confederate) arrangement among the states. This is a point many commentators on the Tenth Amendment miss: the states agreed to be barred from certain things. It’s all right there in the 10th Amendment, too: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States*, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The Constitution specifically lays out the powers of the branches and the whole federal government, and rather pointedly blocks certain kinds of governmental behavior. It is a higher law than any statute Congress can simply write and have the President sign. It’s also higher than “regulations” (aka “administrative law”—itself a violation of the Constitution) and Executive Orders (EOs—also a constitutional no-no, the way they’re used these days). Any statute, regulation or EO that exceeds the authority given to the respective branch of government or that thwarts the Constitution is illegal on its face. There is only one way to “overpower” the Constitution legally, and that is by the amendment process laid out in the Constitution.
Any Congresscritter, President, Law Enforcement official or Administration of Justice official who enacts or enforces such a law is thus a lawbreaker as well as an oathbreaker. That would make him or her a domestic enemy of the Constitution, if not the institution known in the Constitution as the united states of America.
But who will punish this or even just put a stop to it? The people attempt to, sometimes, by voting the buggers out. But there are always new buggers, pretending to be the good guys, but with wolfy grins under their sheep’s clothing, and usually with extensive corruption backing them even to get to the point of nomination. By what mechanism can we push back and correct the wrongs that in a very real sense started before the ink was dry on the Constitution? What can we do that will work?
Lately, a huge stream of exceedingly unconstitutional law has been spewing forth, and those elected to put a stop to it (i.e., the allegedly “TEA Party” candidates) have joined the dark side: the courts are in league, far too much so, with the creeping, leaping statist-globalist maneuvers of our legislative and executive branches; Congress has allowed the executive to presume powers not allowed (“administrative law” and executive orders) and the executive is running with it like there’s no tomorrow; the executive doesn’t sick the Attorney General on illegal laws or on the openly treasonous; gi-normous banks and other “trans”national corporations push government around (or take advantage of the corruption in government) and steal people blind, first by bilking them and then by getting bailouts from the government; … the list goes on. It’s time to fix things.
But how? I agree with many out there: violence isn’t the answer. It might be tempting, but “they” are ready for that, and will use it as the excuse to abandon all caution about their violations—they’ll just run with it, kill anyone that gets in their way or looks like they might (on the other hand, they’re doing that now. Breitbart, anyone? And what’s with the mysterious, suspicious death of the coroner who did the autopsy? … anyway, they do that in secret… if some take up violence against them, they’ll do it in broad daylight and call it administration of justice).
And DHS has recently put in an order for 450 million rounds of ammo—almost enough to put a bullet in the head of every man, woman and child in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Think they aren't ready?
The only things I can think of are exposing the movers and shakers that are making this happen, and cooperating with them only enough to stay alive (or to make your death count), and just keep resisting.
Ron Paul is an elegant hero; Alex Jones is a driven hero; Lew Rockwell is another elegant hero; there are many others. These guys stick their necks so far out there… it’s dangerous for them, but they can’t help themselves; they just believe in doing the right thing.
*This is somewhat off point, but contrary to the going dogma, those prohibitions included the Bill of Rights and any other amendment that applied to the states. This is a big point of contention, and some folks will want to contradict me, but if one just reads the documents, they will have to concede that I’ve nailed it. The Supreme Court has waffled around on the matter, trying to decide whether to “incorporate” (make the right apply against the states as well as the Federal Government) various rights via the 14th Amendment, but that’s just not necessary: the text of each amendment in the Bill of Rights speaks for itself, and the 14th tried to make that clear. Unfortunately for the twist-o-flex brains of our Supreme Court justices at the time and most since, there has to be some legalistic, mumbo-jumbo justification to officially vary off the way we ‘always’ have (mis)interpreted it. Some pundits try to refer to the Preamble that was written for the original Bill of Rights, noting that it referred to keeping the Federal Government in check, but that’s not pertinent because the states didn’t pass the Bill of Rights as “a” Bill; they passed them as ten bills, and rejected two—the first two—amendments of what was presented… and the Preamble never found its way into the constitution, by amendment or otherwise.